A new season rolls around once more for a lot of clubs in the Worcestershire area this weekend.

Whilst Malvern Town, Worcester Raiders and Pershore Town began their league campaigns in the Hellenic League last week, Worcester City will kick-off their Midland Football League Premier season on Saturday.

Evesham United are also in action on Saturday as their Southern League Division One South campaign begins with a trip to Frome Town. 

But how will they all get on? The Worcester News assesses the 2022/23 season ahead!

Stability the key for Robins

It was a rather turbulent and uncomfortable season for Evesham United in 2021/22, only avoiding a potential relegation play-off in the second to last game.

The Robins had looked safe heading towards the final games of the campaign but another drop off saw them pulled right into the dog-fight at the bottom.

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They now have a new manager in Mike Ford, whom they hope will be able to inject some much needed energy into the side.

Ford says that a club like Evesham, with the facilities and players at his disposal, should not be one scrapping away at the wrong end of the table.

"There are a group of players here that I inherited here and they have all done well," he said.

"There are young players who have come in having been released by pro clubs and we have signed some new players so the expectation is that we have to be better than we were last year.

"For a club of this size, this club cannot be finishing fifth bottom." 

They have had a decent pre-season and the signs are positive that things are getting better, so maybe a better season could be on the cards but the defence will cause concerns and that was evident in their 2-1 FA Cup defeat last weekend.

Prediction: 15th

Key Player: Kyle Belmonte

Manager: Mike Ford

Another promotion push for City?

It has been another impressive pre-season for Tim Harris' men, who have beaten the likes of Halesowen Town and drawn with Step 3 sides Redditch United and Nuneaton Borough.

Worcester News: Claines Lane ahead of the new season.Claines Lane ahead of the new season. (Image: Newsquest)

Harris has strengthened during the summer, bringing in the likes of Darragh Bustin and Elliot Hartley from Tividale, as well as the promising talent of centre-half Tyreace Brown. But more importantly, they have brought in goals in the shape of Sean Brain and the fit again Bobbie Dale.

They have lost few from the side that came fourth in the Midland Football League Premier so you would think that they should be there or thereabouts once more in the 2022/23 campaign.

They have strength in depth in most positions, young talent and experienced non-league players so all the ingredients are there. But this is a competitive league and finishing in the top two is a massive challenge.

Prediction: 4th

Key Player: Bobbie Dale

Manager: Tim Harris

A step into the unknown for Raiders

Worcester Raiders were not expecting to play at Step 5 this season, but they are where they are now.

Having lost the Hellenic Division One play-off final, there was a sense of failure but with some reshuffling happening above them, Raiders were promoted.

Are they ready? It is difficult to know, especially with so many players coming in to the side, and a fair few heading out the door at Sixways but the 5-1 win on the opening day at Farford Town was some start.

They have never been this high in the non-league ladder but manager Karl Gormley will relish the challenge and they have plenty of players capable of playing at this level, if not higher up.

Ambitions at the club will be high and they should have the quality to be aiming for at least the top half of the table but for manager Gormley, the sky is very much the limit.


Prediction: 10th

Key player: Joe Billingham

Manager: Karl Gormley

Consistency required for Malvern

After their second best finish in any season in the 21/22 campaign (3rd) you would think that promotion would be the logical target for Malvern Town in the upcoming Hellenic League Premier season.

But it was their first year at the level of Step 5 so whilst it was an impressive term, expectations have to be controlled and cementing themselves as a top six side would probably be seen a success by the playing and management group.

However, it was evident at both the beginning and the latter stages of the season that Malvern are a force to be reckoned with; scoring goals and winning games relentlessly at times, even if their defence was on the leaky side.

It was the Christmas period that saw them fall away from a top two finish and so, consistency will be the key for Lee Hooper's men this time around, as will trying to reduce the amount of goals they concede.

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Supporters will no doubt have slightly different expectations than the ones shared within the playing group and staff.

They will be keen to push on and make the top two.

Prediction: 5th

Key player: Harry Clark

Manager: Lee Hooper & Stephen Cleal 

A title tilt for DJ's Plums? 

Since the arrival of boss Danny Janes and his team back in November of 2021, Pershore Town have gone from a run-of-the-mill outfit to one that now looks too strong to be in Step 6.

They were in the in-form side in the league post Christmas especially, winning game after game, as well as reaching three cup finals... winning them all.

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They came up just short in the play-off semi-final at Worcester Raiders but they have gone and strengthened the team with new additions, as well as keeping the majority of their first team regulars.

They have goals in the side in the form of the returning pair of Joshua Willis and Jamie Clarke, creativity in midfield from Sam Clark and a defence that proved to be hard to breach throughout last season. And then the keeper, Eddie Cox, is one of the best at the level.

Worcester News: Pershore Town won three trophies last season.Pershore Town won three trophies last season. (Image: Newsquest)

Janes has not hidden away from his ambitions of taking his side into Step 5 and the title will be the goal and there doesn't seem to be much to suggest that, on paper, they won't.

Prediction:  1st

Key player: Sam Clark

Manager: Danny Janes